The debut of Christopher Papakaliatis’ “Maestro in Blue” on the Athens-based Mega Channel was a sterling success. Now, the well-received mini-series by the Greek actor, director and screenwriter has expanded to a global audience via the Netflix international media streaming service. Papakaliatis celebrated the successful premier of “Maestro in Blue” this week during a reception thrown by Netflix co-CEO Ted Sarandos in LA, with several of Hollywood’s best-known Greek-origin stars, such as Maria Menounos, Lia Vardalos and John Stamos in attendance. In fact, the mini-series featured in Netflix’s “top 10” most watches series over the past few days.

«An interesting plot, enchanting images, excellent direction, top cinematographic level photography, a unique cast, Oscar-winning performances and, of course, beautiful Greece» were just some of the positive comments in the wake of the Maestro, mini-series’ premiere, which was created by Papakaliatis for Mega.

The rave reviews continued until the last episode of the first season. Television audiences loved the mini-series, with ratings being impressively high.

Papakaliatis’ personal “wager”, along with Mega’s decision to focus on high-quality television productions, ones which respect the medium and viewers’ demands, have been achieved. The result was a vindication for everyone involved in the creation of “Maestro in Blue” when Netflix decided to pick up the series.

Besides, Mega Channel has invested in fiction-based productions, something demonstrated with the excellent series it included in its program, and with “Maestro in Blue”, of course, continuing with a second season. The new season’s episodes will be shot this year, so viewers in 2024 can watch the continuation of the fine series on Mega’s airwaves.

The show is now deservedly on the platform next to mega-hits such as “The Crown”, “Stranger Things”, the disquieting “Dahmer” and “YOU”, marking the first time that a Greek-language series has been hosted on the global media streaming platform. According to figures, many viewers are staying up late to watch the series.

«Maestro in Blue”, which refers to the blue hues seen in Greek waters and the skies above the country, is now available around the world, and in just a few days has climbed into the list of the 10 top non-English-language programs viewed in the March 13 to March 19 period.

According to figures provided by the platform, the series reached 7.3 million viewing hours. In fact, in many countries it climbed very high in the rankings. For example, in the United States it reached 10th place; seventh place in Australia; sixth in Italy; fifth in Turkey and fourth in Malta.

Taking to his Instagram account, Papakaliatis wrote, in touching on the Mega-backed mini-series’ success: “When we worked so hard for something and we see that it has all this acceptance…well we feel overwhelmed and obligated!!!”

«It’s the hardest work I’ve ever done. If I didn’t have the support and the ‘green light’ from MEGA and the offer by the channel’s president, who told me ‘do whatever you want freely’, I wouldn’t have been able to accomplish this. I did it thanks to the freedom that Mega provided me to maneuver as I wanted. A project of such demands could not have been done otherwise,» Papakaliatis said, in expressing his gratitude.

A surprise by Netflix’s chief

On the occasion of the series’ world premiere on the platform and its success, Netflix co-CEO and chief content officer Ted Sarandos invited Papakaliatis to a reception in Los Angeles, where some of Hollywood’s best-known Greek-origin stars, such as John Stamos, Nia Vardalos and Maria Menounos, were also on hand.

Papakaliatis later posted images from the dinner, where he also stated that “…Words cannot describe the gratitude and happiness I felt tonight. Thank you Mr. Sarandos and to your wonderful team, for the amazing night. Maestro in Blue is now the first Greek show streaming worldwide on Netflix.”

On Twitter, Tweets accompanying the hashtag #MaestroInBlue explain, to a large degree, the success of the mini-series.

Dozens of messages from users praised the powerful performances, the enchanting visuals, the soundtrack, and of course, the script, which masterfully touches on issues such as domestic violence, racism and homophobia, without evasions or embellishments — often forcing society to look into the mirror.

Performances by Papakaliatis, Maria Kavoyianni, Clelia Andriolatou, Antinoos Albanis, Haris Alexiou and Dimitris Kitsou were heralded.

Moreover, the Ionian islands of Paxos and Corfu, where the series was shot, are now “threatened with inundation” by international viewers that declare themselves in love with the Greek isles and who dream of moving to the country.

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